The evil attacks in Paris are deplorable, but not surprising * Europeans sinned in the past through colonialism and anti-Semitism, and sin today in their attitude towards Israel * The corrupt European concept of morality, which sanctifies individual rights while neglecting obligations and justice * Granting of rights without obligations leads to corruption * The distorted attitude of the West towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict caused the rise of worldwide terror * Muslims believe that European culture is morally decadent, therefore, it is permissible and even desirable to attack it * Support for Israel is a prerequisite for Europe’s ability to deal with terrorism
With great sorrow we heard about the vicious attacks perpetrated by Muslim terrorists in Paris. However, we cannot say we were surprised – for years, we knew that this would be the result of misguided policies of France and most European countries (as I will cite from an article I wrote fifteen years ago). Nevertheless, the fulfillment of the first part of the predictions is horrifying.
The truth must be said – the Europeans are not blameless. For generations they ruled many nations by force, including Arabs and Muslims, exploiting their labor and their country’s natural resources to increase their wealth and esteem. Today, immigrants from those very countries are coming and exploiting them and their countries, justifying it by saying they are simply returning to themselves what was stolen from them in the past.
Mention must be made of the terrible suffering we, the Jews, endured in Europe. Undeniably, on many occasions we were treated decently by rulers and ordinary people in the various countries. But it is difficult to count all the pogroms, expulsions, rapes and robberies and we went through in Europe, leading to the worst of all – the Holocaust, in which six million of our brothers and sisters were murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators from other European countries. True, we indeed insisted on keeping our faith, and it’s not always pleasant to live with a people of different faith and culture. However, our contribution to the economic, scientific and cultural development of Europe was undeniably far greater than the unpleasantness caused as a result of our living amongst the peoples of Europe in our exile. Instead of gratitude, we got pogroms, expulsions and the Holocaust.
And even today, instead of understanding the terrible war in which we find ourselves facing the Arabs surrounding us who literally wish to destroy us, they accuse us of violating the Arabs rights, killing them, and other false accusations. Maybe it is important for them to believe the Arab’s accusations in order to justify themselves, thinking they’re not the only ones who kill; when given the chance, the Jews also kill as many non-Jews as possible. And some may even have no need for self-justification – they simply hate Jews and Israel, and that’s reason enough. And maybe now, all of a sudden, they decided to repent and stand up for human rights, and just fell on the wrong people.
Either way, Europe’s actions in the past and their present official position which denies the State of Israel the right to defend its security and ancestral lands of Judea and Samaria, is leading to a situation in which they lack the courage and moral justification to fight the Muslim position threatening their safety and existence.
To whom are These Observations Directed?
These observations are directed first and foremost to us, the Jews, for it is our duty to understand what is going on around us, as it is written: “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; … When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:7-8).
Ideally, the lesson is meant to educate the nations of the world, but when they fail to understand, then the same problems in which they stumbled in, arrive at our doorstep. Secular Israeli leftists stumble in them willingly, in the mistaken belief that it’s the proper and ethical approach, and politicians stumble in them out of a sense of helplessness against global public opinion.
These observations are also are directed at the Europeans, because since the end of World War II the position prevalent among moral European’s is that the time has come to conduct a deep self-examination about the damage caused to people by European colonialism, nationalism, and religion. Therefore, there is room to appeal to the Europeans, that they should direct their thoughts honestly.
European champions of morality superficially thought that the more they reinforced human rights, the more ethical and better the world would become, and discrimination between people on the background of sex, race and religion would vanish. The more they fortified the rights of the individual, whoever and wherever he may be, the wars between nations and religions would decrease. However, by forsaking all other values of morality, and the moral obligations of every individual, they erred and caused severe injustices, and this is reflected in the serious crisis they are now facing.
This is because there are no rights without obligations. And when people are given rights without obligations, you nurture within them the natural evil inclination which has a propensity to exploit, lie, steal, rape and murder. And when weak people are supported no matter who they are, you encourage them to demand rights that they do not deserve, and when they don’t receive them – this encourages them to attack and sabotage in order to achieve by force what was not given to them agreeably.
Consequently, there is a need to earnestly integrate the values of the conservative right-wing movements that are more connected to the values of the Bible, which, in addition to the value of human dignity, emphasizes the value of justice, and demands from an individual to take responsibility for his actions.
Israel’s War is the Yardstick of Global Evil
In this context, I found it appropriate to go back and quote what I wrote in this column on the 10th of Adar 5763 (2003), and the main points were written for an article in the newspaper ‘Makor Rishon’, towards the end of Elul 5761 (2001), a few days before the attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
“The more we erred in the false belief that the Oslo Accords would lead to peace, a reduction in terrorist attacks and the war against Israel, the more evil our Arab enemies became. They wasted and stole from the billions of dollars given them by various countries through awful corruption. And the money they did not steal, they invested primarily in arms and ammunition to kill, injure, demolish and destroy. There is no criminal or terror organization that does not have a connection to them and learns from their involvement. It is no coincidence that the mentor of Bin Laden is a Palestinian (at that time, all the murderous organizations that were created in recent years had not been founded).
“The only thing that the various terrorists understood from the Oslo process is that terrorism pays. And the more of a liar, and the more evil a terrorist is ready to be – the more consideration he is given, in the same manner as the way Western countries relate to the Palestinian Authority.
After the head of the largest terrorist gang in the world at the time, Yasser Arafat, gained international status and was even assured a state, international terrorism raised its head. Even entire countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, Libya and Sudan, permit themselves to support terrorism (today, support for terrorism has expanded and encompasses most of the Muslim population in all countries, as evidenced in every place where they are permitted to hold free elections). Even if in the coming days Saddam Hussein is subdued, calm will never return to the world. As long as the Palestinian Authority is not punished, the world will be exposed to increasing dangers. There won’t be a country in the world which is not forced to invest the best of its manpower and money in the daily struggle against terrorism. If they are not stopped today, all public facilities in every country of the world will have to be constantly guarded so people don’t get blown up there, and to make sure the terrorists don’t poison the water systems, and to prevent them from scattering epidemic-spreading bacteria, and so they won’t lay their hands on advanced technology that could endanger the entire world. States will have to constantly increase their police forces, and nevertheless, terror will continue to strike, both in rich and poor countries. Every third person will have to be a policeman, in order to protect homes and citizens. At every street corner, people’s bags and clothing will have to be checked, lest they be carrying bombs on their bodies or various poisonous materials…
And consequently, instead of fulfilling the prophecy ‘out of Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of God from Jerusalem’, out of Palestine will come terror, death and bereavement. All this will happen to them because the Western leaders failed to discern between the righteous and the wicked in Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.”
This is essentially what I wrote, as noted, 15 years ago.
The Problem in Europe
Mistakenly, the various experts and analysts think that the problem is terrorism, and therefore, increased security will solve the problem. Others are ready to admit that the problem is broader and concerns the struggle with radical Islam, and that by waging war against their senior leaders, terror will be eliminated.
However in truth, this is about a clash of civilizations. For example, the various experts were astonished to find out that before carrying out their acts of terror, the terrorists managed a bar which sold alcohol and drugs, goods forbidden by Islam. But had they understood that this is a conflict with a religious background, they would have realized that although young Muslims frequently take pleasure in the promiscuity, alcohol and drugs of European nightclubs, they accuse the Europeans for luring them adversely. As a result, they agree with the preacher at the local mosque that the European’s evilness is vast and dreadful, so much so that it is even able to trap the Muslim youth in its net, and cannot be overcome, but must be destroyed because it is diabolical.
This is how the overwhelming majority of Muslims view Europe, as disintegrating morally, and all the talk about human rights are seen in their eyes as capitulation to the evil inclination, permissiveness, promiscuity, and the uprooting of family values. They may benefit from the welfare system and freedom in European countries, but in their hearts they believe that it is a culture of Sodom and Gomorrah, and thus, it is permissible and even desirable to attack it. This gives them justification to open crime centers in their neighborhoods.
If the people of Europe do not realize the full extent of contending with Islam, terrorism and crime will increase until reaching guerrilla warfare in the streets. This could end in the downfall of the European countries, or in a dreadful eruption of bloodshed by the Europeans taking out their anger against the Muslims.
The beginning of the solution is the return to the values of the Bible, including support for the State of Israel which is at the forefront in the war against Islam. Consequently, the Europe nations will be able to put forward a moral, ideological position that speaks in the name of justice. An ideology based on the right of the peoples of Europe over their own countries, on their right to express their identity and their religious values in public, and their right to protect their identity from immigrants wanting to change it. Then it will be possible to start thinking about ways of coping with the growing Muslim threat.
Apparently, only the right-wing movements understand the full scope of the problem. Next week, I will attempt to continue discussing our relationship to the extreme right in Europe.
This article appears in the ‘Besheva’ newspaper, and was translated from Hebrew. Other interesting articles by Rabbi Melamed can be found at: